William Shakespeare is without a doubt the greatest playwright who ever lived. Even more than 400 years after his death, Shakespeare's iconic works continue to delight, fascinate, enrapture and inspire us all, and his characters continue to be as unforgettable as ever, from the tragic heroes Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet and the comical Sir John Falstaff, to the villainous Richard III and those two star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet (amongst many more memorable others).
This year, Shakespeare weaves his magic over the Bush Capital. Whether you're a Shakespeare tragic or someone who's never seen a Shakespeare play before, here are five ways you can experience the great bard in Canberra.
1. A Midsummer Night's Dream. February 21 at Glebe Park from 6.30pm-8.45pm; and February 22 and 23 at the Patrick White Lawns, Lake Burley Griffin from 4.30pm-6.30pm. One of Shakespeare's much loved comedies, this FREE performance is by Lakespeare & Co., an independent theatre company that's on a mission to make high-quality theatre more accessible. Get your family and friends together, bring your picnic blankets and baskets, or grab a glass of champagne, a cup of coffee and some delicious food from the onsite Food Trucks. For more information, please go here.
2. Shakespeare by the Vines: A Midsummer Night's Dream February 27 and 28 at Pialligo Estate. Enter a world of wine, food, fairies and fun! Enjoy a glass or two of crisp Canberra wine, a plate or four of amazing local produce, and immerse yourself in Lakespeare & Co.'s bespoke, bold and vibrant performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bookings essential. For ticket prices and for more information please go here.
3. Shit-Faced Shakespeare: HAMLET at the Canberra Theatre. March 18. Shit-Faced Shakespeare' is the hilarious blend of an entirely serious Shakespeare play with an entirely shit-faced actor. What could possibly go right? With a genuinely inebriated cast member chosen each night, no two shows are ever the same in this raucous, riotous, rampage through Shakespeare's greatest tragedy: Hamlet! To book your tickets, please go here.
4. Bell Shakespeare's Hamlet. April 9-18 at the Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre. A more serious take on Hamlet! Set inside the glamorous court of Denmark in the 1960s, a family is torn apart by murder and betrayal. Outside, a country is threatened by Norway. And at the centre of this struggle is a man brimming with anguish. Hamlet is a portrait of a young man struggling with the death of his father, his mother's hasty remarriage to his uncle, and the vision of his father's ghost looming in his mind's eye. A story of revenge, passion and deception, this is a Hamlet for our time. Directed by Artistic Director Peter Evans and featuring Harriet Gordon-Anderson as a young man experiencing grief in its most complex and profound state, this Hamlet will be told through the lens of loss, betrayal and madness. To book your tickets, please go here.
And finally, 5. Bell Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors. October 2-10 at the Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre. A hilarious romp of swapped identities, misguided love, mistaken imprisonment and chaotic mishaps, leading to an unbelievably crazy day for bumbling twins. At the heart of this tale of comedic misfortune is an old man searching for his lost children who has found himself in the fight of his life… to save his life. Directed by Bell Shakespeare's Artistic Director Peter Evans, this is a beautiful story about reunion, wrapped up in an evening of entertainment and laughter. For tickets, please go here.